Sat, 09 Mar 2024 Feature Article

Government’s Dereliction of Duty: The Sad case of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital

Governments Dereliction of Duty: The Sad case of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital

Governance is about using the resources of the masses to solve the problems of the masses. These resources come in the form of taxes, loans and the natural resources. This is the fundamental responsibility of every government in all parts of the world, failure to undertake this basic responsibility is nothing but failure. The Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) is the second largest hospital in Ghana and one of the largest and most important hospitals in the whole of West Africa. It has a bed capacity of more than 1,200, twelve out of the sixteen regions in this country have their patients referred to this hospital. In every serious society, maintaining and sustaining such an institution will be the priority of those in positions of power and influence.

Unfortunately, this indispensable life-saving institution has been neglected by this president Akufo-Addo-Bawumia led government, the building structure and the facilities are currently in bad shape. Ordinarily, it is the responsibility of the government to undertake any refurbishment project since all taxes are paid to the government, including the NHIS levy. However, the government has sat unconcerned and it has to take the initiative of the Asantehene to launch an appeal for fund to save the hospital.

The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II launched an initiative to mobilise 10 million US dollars for the renovation of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, because the current state of the hospital is nothing to write home about. This is unprecedented, it is the first time an institution as big as the KATH has been neglected by the central government to the extent that the traditional ruler of its geographical location would have to intervene.

One would have thought that, after this bold and smart initiative by the Asantehene, the government will be embarrassed and alerted to wake up to its responsibility and provide the projected amount that was announced at the launch of the initiative, at least to redeem itself. But the government has shamelessly looked on as individuals and cooperate bodies contributes to undertake a project that is primarily the responsibility of the government. When the president was billed to present his last State of the Nations address, I expected him to address the “Heal Komfo Anokye” project and issue an unqualified apology to the people of the Ashanti region in particular and Ghanaians in general for this dereliction of responsibility, but, typical of him, he did not even mention it.

The Ashanti Region is the stronghold of the ruling party with fourty two members of parliament on the seat of the New Patriotic Party and one independent member of parliament who has declared his allegiance to the ruling government, making fourty-three NPP members of parliament out of fourty-seven.

At the time of the launch, the majority leader and the minister in charge of parliamentary affairs, the first and second deputy speakers of parliament, the minister of education, deputy minister of finance, minister of trade and industry, minister of works and housing, the minister in charge of national security and the chief of staff at the presidency were some of the powerful and influential people who hails from the Ashanti region. It beggars belief that with all these powerful and influential personalities in government, coupled with the ruling party’s strength in the Ashanti region, plumbing, electrical wires, windows, roofing, washrooms and all ancillary facilities have been allowed to deteriorate beyond maintenance and refurbishment of such an important institution can be neglected. These appointees and the government have become synonymous to tasteless salt which is good for nothing and must therefore be thrown out, because, they clearly do not understand their responsibilities.

The Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital is not a charity organisation, it is a commercial institution that generates revenues which are controlled by the government, therefore, how the government can sit unconcerned before and after the launch of the project by the Asantehene to raise funds from individuals and corporate bodies is nothing but a glaring dereliction of duty, and the government must be utterly ashamed of this. Where are the proceeds from the hospital, where are the National Health Insurance subscription fees, where are the taxes, where are the loans contracted on our behalf?

I commend the Asantehene for his sterling courage, proactive and innovative thinking in launching the project to heal the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in order to continue saving lives of Ghanaians and beyond. The Akufo-Addo-Bawumia led administration must bow their head down in shame for this unacceptable dereliction of duty.